The Community Scholarship Foundation of La Cañada Flintridge, Inc. (CSF) has been an integral part of our city for over four decades. In 1964, a group of people got together, and united by a shared vision to provide scholarships to local youth, created this philanthropic organization. That first year, this group of citizens awarded over $3,000 to five high school graduates.
These founding members of CSF recognized a need in the community for students who required financial aid to attend post-high school education. Their collective purpose was to enable one central organization to select the scholars and administer the scholarship funds. Their goal was to enable La Cañada students to attend colleges, universities, trade or technical schooling that would allow them the opportunity to reach for their dreams.
In 1968, an auxiliary group, the Community Scholarship League, was formed to focus on fundraising that would support the ongoing provision of these highly popular scholarships. This group organized “Dollars for Scholars,” a direct mail campaign that has continued to this day. They created the concept of “Perpetual” scholarships, by which an individual or entity could establish a scholarship to honor someone by donating a designated sum or an ongoing amount. The names of these donors are now recognized as our “Tree of Life” and are an important part of CSF’s history.
In 2002, the League and the Foundation merged to establish better continuity with their goals. The merger resulted in some of the most prolific years in CSF history, awarding annual scholarships totaling $50,000 for several successive years.
To date, CSF has raised and awarded scholarships in excess of $850,000, and 750 students have benefited from our endeavors. Each year, our members – all volunteers – work together to raise and manage the monies to fund scholarships, bring community awareness to our cause and prepare and implement the scholarship process.
In 2009 and 2010, our fundraising efforts have generated $150,000. This comes from our fundraising events (our popular raffle the past two years) and our “Tree of Life” donors. In addition to awarding scholarships, CSF has created “Recognition Awards” to honor students selected by their school’s faculty for their outstanding service to community and/or extraordinary character. In 2009 and 2010, we honored 40 students with Recognition Awards totaling $4,000.